Repujado en aluminio – heard of it? Repujado is a Spanish language term for embossed aluminum. That’s what we’re doing here today, and it happens to be a project from my recent book, The Crafty Chica Creates!
About repujado en aluminio
This is metal embossing technique dating back to the 12th century. Known in France as repoussé, it’s also a very popular and beloved craft in Mexico.
Repujado por vida!!!
Artists and crafters adore repujado en aluminio because it is easy to adapt into any creative lifestyle – it’s basically recycling soda cans or any other kind of lightweight tin. Start by drawing a design and using a stylus to transfer the design onto the aluminum, both sides to create a recessed area that is filled with a solid substance, then affixed to a backing.
For this project, we are keeping it simple and using household objects such as matchboxes, craft foam, and a ball point pen.
You’ll find this is a fun and relaxing project for newbies or anyone who wants to try something in a metal medium. It’s very basic metalsmithing!
I’ve always loved making crafts with matchboxes, they are readily available, super affordable and offer so many creative opportunities! And I’m also all about affirmations. For myself and to share with other people.
RELATED CRAFT: Match Box Magnets – Trimmed in GLITTER!
What I did for this project was use an aluminum can (one of my husband’s beer cans!) for the repujado craft portion. Next, I painted the box, emptied the matches into a larger tin (where we store our matches for candles).
You’ll find a downloadable sheet of the affirmations that are sized to fit perfectly inside the matchbox sleeve.
Other types of boxes
Mini-matchboxes are super cute, but you can also use larger sized matchboxes as well. There are even templates to make your own matchbox from light chipboard. As for me, we always have these around, so they worked perfect for this repujado craft.
These are the cutest boxes ever!
They look like regular boxes on the outside, but once you open them, each one has a dicho inside – a little saying of wisdom.
Matchboxes make great party favors, so you’ll love making and sharing these. Use the template I’ve included at the bottom of this post, or you can come up with your own.
Write fortunes to go inside or if you are celebrating a birthday party, or holiday.
For a memorial service, you can use quotes from your family or friends to place inside.
These are uplifting gifts and it feels so good to hand these out!
RELATED CRAFT: Matchbox Ornaments
Self love version
Hide some of them around your home or work space, someplace where you will forget about them. You never know when you’ll come across one. It might just be that mini-pep talk you need in the moment!
When it comes to decorating the outside, you can use photos, illustrations, scrapbook paper or even just painted designs.
For these, I used the art of repujado en aluminario – embossed aluminum.
Supplies for repujado en aluminio matchboxes:
Note: I found a lot of these basic supplies at Dollar Tree!
These are the fancy white and empty ones. You can also use store bought ones in the charcoal/grilling department or plain ones like these.
Soda can, washed and dried
Piece of paper to draw your design
Dollar store scissors, safety gloves
Sandpaper or emery board
Printed dichos – affirmations. Here is my free printable: matchbox affirmations
Alcohol inks or permanent markers
Craft foam, 5×7”
Embossing stylus (I bought mine at Dollar Tree)
Super glue or industrial strength adhesive
Open the matchboxes and put the matches in a tin can or glass jar.
Use craft paint to add color to the inner sleeve and the sides and the back of each matchbox.
Add painted accents, let dry and coat with brush-on sealer.
Use the glue stick for paper and add the dichos to the inside of the sleeve.
Now for the repujado part!
Wearing the safety gloves, insert the tin snips into the can and cut away the top and bottom. Cut up the side so you have a sheet of aluminum.
Cut the aluminum to the size of the matchbox cover, just one side.
File the edges so they are not sharp.
Draw your design on a piece of paper to the size of the matchbox. I found loose and bigger designs work best for such a small surface area. Once you like your drawing, place the aluminum piece on the piece of craft foam, then the drawing.
Trace the drawing from your paper onto the printed side of the aluminum using the ballpoint pen.
Remove the paper.
Draw your design with the ballpoint pen or thin embossing stylus, press hard so your lines are deeply recessed. Do this on the printed side of the aluminum can piece, this will be the back of your design.
Flip over the aluminum piece and use a round embossing tool on the areas within the lines you drew.
Flip it over again and continue working on both sides until you like what you see.
When done, place the piece, printed side up and use hot glue to fill the recesses and quickly place it on the matchbox.
Glue down all the edges so it is secure.
Use alcohol inks or permanent markers to add color to the tin.
Here are the free repujado en aluminio printables!
Use the PDF download for a cleaner print: Crafty Chica Matchbox Affirmation Printable1
And if you want a heart template: Crafty Chica’s repujado template printable
Thank you so much for checking out my post!
Other repujado en aluminio (embossed tin) posts: